I’ve heard lots of people talk about the sound track for their lives. Either they mean the music they grew up with, that punctuated various milestones and events for them, or they mean the music they wish would play from invisible speakers as their life progresses (okay, it might only be me who wishes for that).
Have you ever thought about the sound tracks to books? Quite often when I’m reading a book, certain pieces of music will pop into my head. They’re not actual sound tracks to indicate rising tension like what you might hear in a movie. These are pieces of music whose moods represent a similar mood to the book. I know lots of authors who write with mood music on in the background. I don’t do that. I write with no noise and no distraction because while I’m writing, I can hear the music, the voices and the sound effects of all the action taking place in my head. I wouldn’t want to disturb that.
Editing though, is a totally different story. By the time I’m doing the first edit on a book, it’s been sitting away from me for at least three, maybe four months. That gives me the chance to read it with fresh eyes. Unlike Stephen King, who claims to use too many words in his first draft and to cut them back by at least a quarter in the second draft; I write my first draft in a very minimalist fashion. I just need to get the story down.
The first edit then, becomes a decorating process. I’m adding the soft furninshings, if you like, to the more solid architecture of my story. Decorating requires mood and mood requires music. So that’s what I’m doing right now, compiling the soundtrack for my editing!
This is one of the pieces I’m listening to at the moment. Different, interesting and hypnotic, exactly what I need. If my book turns out half as lovely as these voices, I’ll be a happy girl!